Monday, September 21, 2009
I joined an art therapy class, along with seven other cancer survivors. Our instructor is a trained art therapist, and stressed that this is not an art class, but a way of using art as therapy. I enjoy art, and was actually kind of hoping it was an art class.
Our first session's assignment (a week ago) was to use colors and shapes to show 'strength'. We had colored construction paper, scissors, and glue, and an hour to be as creative as we could. I was happy with my result, which was a very calm outdoor scene (a big tree, and the lake with the sun setting). I get my strength from the outdoors - trees, flowers, the lake.
Our second session's assignment (this morning) was harder to get started. We used pastels (both chalk and oil) and started by closing our eyes and 'scribbling' until she said stop. We then had to examine our scribble and see something in it, and then continue working on the picture. She encouraged layering the colors, blending, smoothing (using paper towel), etc. It was fun, even though I think my result looks like something a young child would produce. I saw two butterflies in my scribble, and so I added more butterflies, dragonflies, and some flowers. I used very vibrant colors. The second part is to talk about what we see in our pictures, what we felt as we were working on it. To me, the butterflies are flying away, signifying that I want to fly away, or escape. That suits me well right now as I am absolutely sick of everything cancer. I'm worried about starting radiation (still tentatively next week), which means being at CancerCare 5 days a week for 5 weeks, surrounded by cancer.
That's why I haven't posted in a week, just really avoiding it all, taking a break. But I've been walking and do feel like I'm getting some strength back. I notice my arms and legs feel very heavy, and I do get very tired, but at least it means I'm sleeping better at night.